Earlier this month WNMU Athletic Director Scott Noble announced the hiring of Philip Vigil as the new head coach of Mustang football. Vigil will replace Frank Tristan who left the position earlier this year to return to Missouri where his wife had taken a job. Vigil arrives at Western with an impressive resume at both the Division I & II levels.

Vigil was an All-Conference QB at Colorado Mesa University. Upon graduation he began his coaching career that generally included involvement with the quarterbacks, running backs, and recruiting. With stops at Ft. Hays, NW Missouri, Colorado Mesa, and D-I Stephen F. Austin. His recruiting classes have always been highly ranked, but probably none more so than while at SFA where he recruited back-to-back #1 ranked recruiting classes. Those classes included several players that had verbal commitments to SEC schools. Among them was Ja'quarion Turner who made First Team All-Conference in 2020 as a freshman.

Coach Vigil admits that when he was first contacted by a mutual friend of his and Scott Noble, he wasn't too interested in the job. But after talking to Noble, he liked the vision Scott had for the football program. Combined with Dr. Shepherd's vision for WNMU, and Coach Vigil was ready to jump in with both feet.

Vigil is familiar with Western football and believes a winning program can be built here. While an assistant at Colorado Mesa, he was part of several games against RMAC foe WNMU that were very exciting. He remembered Mitch Glassman and several of the wide receivers that could move the ball.

Vigil's plan is to heavily recruit NM, AZ, CO, and CA. With Dixie State moving Division I FCS, Western is the closest D-II school for Arizona and California players. He also has watched Coach Kelly at Eastern NM recruit NM kids while Western and Highlands have lagged behind their cross-state rival. Coach Vigil believes there are kids in NM that can play with the best in the country and he wants them to not only stay in state, but choose the Mustangs over the other NM schools.

Getting such a late start will put Western behind in recruiting and retaining former players. Reggie Colson, an outstanding receiver for the Mustangs has decided to transfer to Lone Star Conference rival Texas A&M Commerce, but Vigil is not giving up on him and has been discussing returning to the Purple & Gold. He'll also being watching the transfer portal, hoping to get 20-30 kids from other D-II schools as well as D-I schools.

Vigil has filled out most of his staff and they are all busy contacting the returning players. Their first goal is to get them to return to Silver City for the summer. Vigil is used to having most of the kids remain over the summer to work with each other. Coaches can have limited contact with players but can set expectations and get them moving in the right direction. He expects to have about 50 players returning by the end of the month.

As far as expectations for the upcoming season, Vigil is realistic. Often you hear coaches talk about high expectations and competing at the highest levels right away. Coach V knows that not having a full recruiting season or spring practice will put the Mustangs well behind other teams. But they will work hard, be creative with the offense and play solid defense with the goal of being in every game when the fourth quarter rolls around. "If you're in the game then, you have a chance." Teams that he's been associated with in the past have taken advantage of that and had success. It also builds confidence in the players and builds a winning attitude. For the long term, that's what the first time head coach is looking for: Winners.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to editor@grantcountybeat.com. Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.